|(c) IRC maternal health project|
I recently covered Untold Stories, a major exhibition of photographs of global urban refugees and a showcase of their testimonies, produced by the International Rescue Committee and featuring images taken by photographer Andrew O’Connell. Since the exhibition closed I’ve been thinking about the placing of these images, in the sleek, double-plus height, busy spaces of King’s Cross International Station. It’s either a striking juxtaposition, stopping Paris- and Brussels-bound travellers and their consciences dead in between eating a cake from Konditor and Cook, having a salmon platter at Le Pain Quotidien and buying overpriced disposable fountain pens from Paperchase. Or it’s just more visual wallpaper, another image from the global ad era, something for the eye to skim over, barely taking in the words or registering the general purpose – tearjerking international pain campaign – before getting on a train bound for somewhere more pleasant.
- To end poverty and hunger
- Universal education
- Gender equality
- Child Health
- Maternal health
- Combating HIV/AIDS
- Environmental sustainability
- Global partnership
- The village women in the South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo forming groups called village savings and loan associations (VSLAs). The women members put their small household earnings toward the group’s broader goals. When there’s enough cash in the box, a member can take out a loan to start her own business — like a tailoring shop, the purchase of a small plot of land to farm and raise animals. When the business makes money she begins to repay that loan back into the cash box to fund another woman’s ideas.
- The 30 new health facilities and 2,500 newly trained community health workers supported by the IRC in South Sudan, where the country’s decades long civil war has left the region without a functioning healthcare system and few trained medical personnel. Currently, more than 2,000 out of every 100,000 pregnant women in the new nation die during childbirth.
- The necessity of bringing healthcare closer to remote communities by enabling trained community health workers to travel with families as they migrate. For example in Turkana, Kenya, is one of the world’s poorest regions, frequent droughts have left inhabitants dependent on food aid. Malnutrition rates are estimated to be around 22 per cent, leaving children too weak to fight off illness. Consequently, many children die from preventable or treatable illnesses such as fever, malaria and diarrhoea. With about 80%of people being nomadic, many families find accessing healthcare difficult due to their mobile lifestyle. These problems are compounded by a severe shortage of facilities and qualified health professionals.
- The strengthening of strained healthcare facilities in Syria’s neighbouring countries, like the 2 new health centres in the cities of Ramtha and Mafraq in Jordan, to help the million-plus people fleeing the violence in Syria. As IRC emergency response coordinator Tom McNelly explains, “These people crossed the border with nothing but their clothes. They have no money to pay for treatment or medicine - and we supply both, at no cost to them.”
- Rape, refusal, denial, detention: refugees dancing at the edge of the world
- Peace is not peace without women
- Asylum: no woman should be missed out